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Twins Look To Stop Latest Slide

(Sports Network) - Brian Duensing makes his final start before the postseason this afternoon when the Minnesota Twins continue their four-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays at Target Field.

Duensing, who will take the ball in Game 3 of next week's ALDS, has been tremendous for the Twins since joining the rotation, going 7-2 with a 2.79 earned run average in 12 starts. He is 10-3 overall on the year with a 2.44 ERA in 52 games.

He had a three-start winning streak stopped on Sunday in Detroit, as the Tigers reached him for five runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. Duensing has given up just 10 home runs all season, but two came in his last outing and five have been hit in his last seven outings.

Duensing has faced the Blue Jays twice (one start) and has yet to record a decision, but has pitched to a 4.26 ERA in those outings.

The left-handed Duensing will be given the task of righting the Twins' ship, as the team has dropped two straight to open this set and seven of their last eight overall. On Friday, Edwin Encarnacion's three-run homer capped a four- run eighth inning that carried Toronto to a 6-3 win.

Ricky Romero (14-9) was sharp through eight innings, giving up two runs on six hits without walking a batter and striking out five to earn the win for the Blue Jays, who have taken the first two games of the series and eight of their last nine.

Jesse Crain (1-1) suffered the loss after allowing the decisive runs for the Twins. Carl Pavano left in a 2-2 game after seven innings during which he allowed one earned run on nine hits and a walk while striking out three.

"I got myself into some trouble and I got myself out of some trouble against a lineup that has been putting up some big numbers with people on base," Pavano said. "It's unfortunate that we lost the ball game because it was a good game."

Today, Toronto will hand the ball to righty Shaun Marcum, who is 13-8 with a 3.63 ERA. Marcum beat the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, as he allowed just an unearned run in seven innings to win for the second time in his last three decisions.

Marcum beat the Twins the last time he faced them and is 2-1 with a3.46 ERA in four starts against them.

The Blue Jays have won five of seven meetings between these teams this year and have fared very well in Minneapolis as of late, having won eight of nine games as the visitor in this series since the start of the 2008 season.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.